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Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of PCB Design Software
Charles 25 January 2023

Everything You Need to Know About the Different Types of PCB Design Software

Are you looking for a comprehensive guide to the different types of PCB design software? Look no further! In this blog post, we will provide an overview of the various types of PCB design software available on the market, as well as their features, pros and cons. We’ll also provide tips for choosing the right software for your project. With this information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about which type of PCB design software is best suited for your needs. So, read on to learn more about the different types of PCB design software.

Autodesk EAGLE

Autodesk EAGLE, formerly known as “Easily Applicable Graphical Layout Editor”, is a popular PCB design software developed by Autodesk. It is one of the most widely used PCB design packages in the world and is used by hobbyists, students, and professionals alike. Autodesk EAGLE is a comprehensive suite of design tools that allows users to easily design high-quality printed circuit boards (PCBs) quickly and efficiently.

The user interface is designed to be intuitive, with the ability to switch between tools and layouts with ease. Autodesk EAGLE also offers many features such as Schematic Capture, Layout Design, Component Placement, and Signal Integrity analysis, which makes it an excellent choice for designing complicated PCBs.

In addition to the standard features offered by Autodesk EAGLE, there are also a variety of third-party plugins available which allow you to extend the software’s capabilities even further.

These plugins include BoardStacks, which provides an automated way of organizing components on your PCB design, and CircuitBuilder, which provides detailed analysis of your PCB layout.

The latest version of Autodesk EAGLE includes an extensive library of parts from various manufacturers and vendors, which can be accessed directly within the application. With the included library, users are able to quickly find the components they need for their design and create their PCB faster.

Overall, Autodesk EAGLE is an excellent choice for creating PCB designs quickly and efficiently. It has a robust feature set and a large library of parts, allowing users to create complex designs with relative ease. It is also easy to use and comes with helpful documentation, making it suitable for both beginners and advanced users alike.


OrCAD is a comprehensive suite of integrated tools for PCB design. It provides a range of features for schematic capture, board layout and design verification. The OrCAD PCB design solutions come in three product offerings: OrCAD Capture, OrCAD Layout, and OrCAD PCB Designer Professional. The suite also offers powerful analysis and design tools to ensure that designs meet their requirements.

OrCAD Capture allows users to quickly create schematic designs, simulate their circuits and generate reports. The tool includes an integrated library of over 30,000 components, allowing users to easily select parts for their designs. Additionally, OrCAD Capture includes an advanced simulation engine and a number of analysis tools to evaluate circuit performance.

OrCAD Layout enables users to quickly and accurately design PCBs. This product provides a number of features including interactive routing, auto-routing and multi-layer support. Additionally, OrCAD Layout includes a set of interactive design rule checks and design-for-manufacturing (DFM) features.

The last part of the OrCAD suite is OrCAD PCB Designer Professional which provides advanced features for advanced PCB designs such as impedance control, autorouting with global shape control, and 3D modeling. Additionally, this product supports multiple design flows from concept to production including Altium Designer and Cadence Allegro.

Overall, the OrCAD suite provides a comprehensive set of tools for designing high quality PCBs quickly and efficiently. With its wide range of features and easy to use interface, the OrCAD suite is ideal for both experienced and novice PCB designers.

Altium Designer

Altium Designer is a powerful, full-featured, integrated PCB design and simulation software package developed by Altium Limited. It is one of the most widely used PCB design tools in the industry, with over 250,000 users worldwide.

Altium Designer offers a comprehensive suite of tools for designing and managing all aspects of a PCB, from schematic capture to board layout and routing. The software includes schematic editors, CAD libraries, and powerful routing tools that allow you to quickly and accurately design your boards. It also offers an extensive library of ready-made components and footprints for faster design cycles.

Altium Designer’s user interface is designed for maximum efficiency, with a modern look and feel that is easy to learn and use. The software also provides extensive visualization capabilities to help you ensure your designs are accurate and error-free.

Altium Designer also includes powerful tools for signal integrity analysis, such as crosstalk analysis, signal integrity simulations, and dynamic impedance control. With these tools, you can easily find and fix any signal integrity issues before they cause any problems on the board.

Altium Designer also offers numerous options for board fabrication, including high-speed, multi-layer, and blind/buried vias. With the software’s advanced technologies, you can reduce costs while achieving superior performance. Altium Designer is an excellent choice for anyone looking for an easy-to-use yet powerful PCB design tool.


KiCad is an open-source PCB design software that has gained popularity in recent years due to its powerful features and affordability. It is one of the most widely used PCB design software tools among electronics hobbyists and professionals alike. KiCad offers a wide range of features including schematic capture, PCB layout design, BOM (Bill of Materials) generation, 3D visualization, and more. It is available for both Windows and Mac operating systems and is easy to use, with a well-designed user interface. KiCad is a great option for hobbyists who want to design their own custom circuit boards without spending a fortune on expensive software. The KiCad project provides a comprehensive set of tools that allow you to design your own PCBs quickly and easily. It also supports Gerber files, making it easy to send your designs to a manufacturer for fabrication. With its robust features, low cost, and easy-to-use interface, KiCad is the perfect tool for hobbyists looking to create custom circuits on a budget.


Hopefully this guide makes it easier for you to choose the software you need. If you need to speak to experts to guide you. Feel free to get in touch with us and we shall get back to you with more information.

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